For both positive and tragic reasons, 2009 could be dubbed Wilco (The Year). On top of the standard festival dates, late-night appearances, flattering reviews and a concert DVD release, the band scored its highest Billboard placement ever with the release of Wilco (The Album), charting at #4 the week of its release with nearly 100,000 copies sold. That’s quite a feat for a band not only 15 years and seven albums into their career, but one so adamant in shaking hands with technology. Ever since Reprise shunned the eventually-classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco has been openly streaming their records online before they hit storefronts to winning effect.
However, this was all after a very mysterious May, as Jay Bennett, former guitarist and songwriting partner in Wilco, filed a lawsuit against leader Jeff Tweedy for royalties he felt were due to him from both songs and director Sam Jones’ documentary film I Am Trying To Break Your Heart – where cameras rolled as Bennett and the band parted ways. Bennett, who had made blog posts online regarding his ongoing battle with a hip replacement – both from health and financial standpoints – then died over Memorial Day weekend at his home from what was determined to be an overdose of pain-killers.
Come October, Wilco will be hitting mostly the Midwest and South, including Farm Aid with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, a performance in Toronto at Massey Hall and two shows in their native Chicago. Dates:
10.01 Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa
10.02 St. Paul, MN: Roy Wilkins Auditorium
10.04 Maryland Heights, MI: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (Farm Aid)
10.06 Kansas City, MO: The Crossroads
10.08 Cedar Park, TX: Cedar Park Center
10.09 Dallas, TX: The Palladium
10.10 Memphis, TN: Orpheum Theatre
10.12 Columbus, OH: Wexner Center
10.14 Toronto, ON: Massey Hall
10.16 Ann Arbor, MI: Hill Auditorium
10.18 Chicago, IL: UIC Pavillion
10.19 Chicago, IL: UIC Pavillion